Human Biodiversity and Population Genomics

Areas: Biology

The research interests of the Human biodiversity and population genomics group are focused on the analysis of the human genomic variability through a multidisciplinary integrated approach that combines bio-demographic, population-genetic and molecular-anthropological studies. The general aim of these studies is to explore and reconstruct the evolutionary history of human populations, in order to infer geographic and environmental factors (e.g. selective pressures), historical and demographic processes (e.g. gene-flow, isolation, drift) as well as cultural dynamics (linguistic and socio-economical features) that shaped the present-day human genetic variability.

To this end, the current research lines are based on the in-depth analysis of uniparental genetic markers (Y-chromosome and mitochondrial genomes), high-throughput autosomal genome-scale data (SNP chip array, Next Generation Sequencing) and transposable element insertions (mobile genome).

The group works in tight collaboration with researchers from several international groups and laboratories (University Pompau Fabra, Barcelona; Max Planck Institut, Leipzig; Estonian Biocentre, Tartu; University of Leuven, Belgium; University of Edinburgh, Scotland;  Genyo-University of Granada, Spain) and is responsible of national and international (ERC-2011 Advance Grant Langelin - LANguage-GEne-LINeages; National Geographic Society - Genographic Project 2.0 Scientific Grants Program) research projects.

Lines of research:

Settori ERC:

LS8_2 Population biology, population dynamics, population genetics

LS8_5 Evolutionary biology: evolutionary ecology and genetics, co-evolution

LS8_1 Ecology (theoretical and experimental; population, species and community level)

LS2_1 Genomics, comparative genomics, functional genomics

SH3_5 Population dynamics, aging, health and society

SH3_7 Migration


Davide Pettener (PO)

Group members

Alessio Boattini (PA)

Stefania Sarno (Post-doc)

Paolo Abondio (PhD student)